Probate Fee Hike

28th February 2017 4:54 pm Leave your thoughts

Government proposals just announced will add thousands of pounds to the cost of winding up many estates in this area, up to £20,000 in some cases.

Probate Court fees are set to rise from a flat £155 to a sliding-scale fee related to the value of the estate.  This will impact most on estates where property prices are highest, such as the south-east, and especially the Maidenhead area.

There are many unanswered questions about these proposals, including the start date, which could be as early as 1st May.

The probate fee is not related to Inheritance Tax, so this will apply even to estates where no Inheritance Tax is payable, such as when a spouse or civil partner, or a charity, is inheriting.

Michael Cutler, senior partner of Colemans Solicitors, commented “The cost of running the probate service is covered by the flat £155 fee.  This increase is taking money out of the pockets of bereaved beneficiaries to pay for other, less efficiently-run, courts and tribunals.  Like Inheritance Tax, this charge will hit hardest in areas such as Maidenhead, where property prices are highest.”

 

The proposed fees are:-

estate up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate                £0

estate from £50,000, up to £300,000                                                             £300

estate from £300,000, up to £500,000                                                        £1,000

estate from £500,000, up to £1m                                                               £4,000

estate from £1m, up to £1.6m                                                                    £8,000

estate from £1.6m, up to £2m                                                                  £12,000

estate over £2m                                                                                         £20,000

 

Colemans’ Vickie Burdett observed “Rightmove reports the average house price in Maidenhead as £515,000, in Cookham as £710,000 and in Bray as £1,097,000 http://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/Maidenhead.html.  This means that many estates in this area will be paying probate fees of at least £1,000 and, in many cases, very much more.”

The government put these proposals out to consultation.  The vast majority of submissions were against the proposals, but the newly-published Government response, at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/594451/probate-consultation-response.pdf

shows it is pressing ahead with proposals almost unchanged.

The proposals will now be put before Parliament and, unless any objection is made, they are due to take effect “from May”.


Categorised in: Wills, Probate and Trusts

This post was written by Colemans Solicitors LLP

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